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Toddlers found wandering on O.C. tracks

August 25, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
An investigation is underway in Anaheim after two toddlers were found wandering along a stretch of train tracks. The kids managed to sneak away from a nearby daycare center, and parents and regulators are demanding answers.The two 2-year-old boys are fine after last week's frightening incident. However, the same can't be said for parents who are furious that the kids managed to sneak away from the daycare center in the first place.

The events unfolded near the 100 block of South Atchison Street in Anaheim, where trains pass by about every 30 minutes during weekday afternoons. The thought is frightening for some parents whose children go to the Children's Station Anaheim YMCA right next to the tracks.

Police say the two young boys got out through a hole in a fence, and then made way onto tracks and traveled several blocks

"We did receive a phone call from some people at a business up on Sycamore Street by the railroad tracks. They reported they had two very small kids," said Sgt. Rick Martinez, Anaheim Police Department.

YMCA officials did not want to go on camera, but they say they do a head count every 10 minutes. They noticed the children were missing and searched for them. When police reunited the toddlers with the daycare, they had been gone for about half an hour.

"I have my daughter here, and that's scary," said Josie Gutierrez, a parent.

"That's pretty bad because ... the schools, they should ... be watching the kids 24-7 the whole time they're there. If they don't have enough teachers or security, they should get more," said Samantha Neree, an Anaheim resident.

YMCA officials would not say how many adults supervise the children. According to its Web site, the daycare serves 90 kids, between the ages of 8 weeks and 6 years, every day. Officials say the fence was repaired right after the incident and will be regularly checked to make sure it doesn't happen again.

"We are not placing blame on anybody. The police department is looking at this as just an unfortunate situation. It appears that the fence had been vandalized," said Sgt. Martinez.

So far no employees have been disciplined. The YMCA and the Department of Social Services are investigating the incident.

The state cannot comment until the investigation is complete.

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